Japan to criminalize possession of child pornography

Lolicon manga magazine covers as pictured in IDEA magazine, Japan.

The Japanese Sangiin (参議院 = House of Councillors = the senate) are expected to vote this month in favor of a law punishing possession of child pornography with up to one (1) year in prison.

As of now, it is legal to possess child porn in Japan.

CNN writes:

Although production and distribution have been banned for 15 years, Japan lags behind other major developed nations in forbidding people from simply holding the sinister material.

People who possess child porn will be given one year to dispose of their “sinister material” if the law passes. Yes, the CNN news report calls it “sinister”, but I won’t stop there. I will call it “devilish”! That will show that I am more upset than CNN, thus a better person. How you gonna counter this? Revolting, maybe?

CNN also mentions what they call a “loophole” in the law:

And it won’t cover the country’s popular manga (comic book) and anime (animation) industries, which include depictions of violent sexual abuse of children in their publications.

This might change though. CNN quotes an activist in favor of the law:

Fujiwara said a discussion about some of the imagery in manga and anime – content that would be illegal in many Western countries – would be a natural “next step.”

One industry representatives argues against this by referring to scientific research – as if that would matter – and adding:

“The goal of the law itself is to protect children from crime,” he said. “Banning such expression in animation under this law would not satisfy the goal of the law.”

Another representative said that he personally may be “disgusted” by some of the content in manga. However:

“But rich, deep culture is born from something that might not be accepted by all,” Chiba said. “We need to allow the gray zone to exist as a necessary evil.”

The article ends:

Some experts suggest the situation is born out of Japan’s long-established patriarchal society.

Whatever the cause, changing a culture may prove a lot harder than changing a law.

Indeed, but I think we Westerners are doing quite well at the moment in trying to change Japan to become more like us.

Week 22, 2014

Week 22 = 26 May – 1 June 2014

Mario Kart 8 was released. Giro d’Italia ended.

I’m planning to end these week reports as I spend more time doing things that I don’t blog about. I’ve used the reports as a way to give myself a structured overview of the week, but since they mostly cover media consumption and superficial events – and not the things I want to structure – I don’t see the point in keeping it up. In fact, I don’t see the point in keeping the blog at all.

Playing Mario Kart 8 first in Europe?

Starting up Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 was released on May 29th 2014 in Japan. Now you say, but it’s still only May 28th! Correct, in Europe it is still May 28th. But European time 17.00 it turned May 29th in Japan.

I wrapped up my job for the day, took Feierabend and checked if the game was available in the eshop in my Wii U and if I could buy it with my European credit card. It was and I could! Despite Nintendo’s policy of not letting one region play games released in other regions. I’ve heard they check IP addresses, but apparently I was somehow allowed to give them my money.

Mario Kart 8

After purchasing – a bit over 6,000 yen = around 44 euros – I had to wait from 18.10 to 21.50 for the download, over 4 GB. Then some more minutes for the install. And then I was set to play, at 22.00 on May 28th 2014, the date before the release in Japan! (The English version will be released on May 30th in the West.) I might very well be the first person in Europe who plays Mario Kart 8! How cool isn’t that?

The game? It’s fantastic! I love it! It feels extremely powerful and modern, with very high quality – I’ve seen a documentary about the making of the game, so I know that all the music was recorded with real studio musicians. I look forward to racing against my friends.

Playing Mario Kart 8

Maybe you wonder why I’m so infatuated with Mario Kart 8. The reason is that me and Yusuke saw this game in the game centers in Tokyo last December. It was new then and not available for any console. We did some research and found out that it would be released for the Wii U “in spring”. This was good news for me, since I had just bought a Wii U to be able to play Taiko no Tatsujin. We agreed that I would give Yusuke money so that he could send me the game when it was released.

I went back to Europe, spring came, and then Nintendo revealed the release date: 29th May 2014. So my whole year so far has been a long waiting for Mario Kart 8, and during this whole time I wasn’t sure if it was going to work to purchase it in the e-shop and play it on my Japanese Wii U in Europe. Tonight all that worked out. That’s why I’m so happy!

And let me repeat: I love the game! Everyone who sees it will be shocked at how good it looks! (At least on a 60-inch plasma, just had to mention that again, hihi.)

Ok, now I’m going back to the game!

ダウンロード中!!!

MARIO KART 8 downloading to my Japanese Wii U

マリオカート8はちょうど発売したよ!日本の5月29日0時はヨーロッパ28日18時だから、今夜(28日)マリオカートでゆっくりするつもりだ!^^

ドイツのインターネットはとても遅いから、3時間ぐらいかかるそうだと思います。

ところで、ニンテンドーはリージョンコードを使ってるから、僕は心配したけど、買うことができたよ!!

Week 21, 2014

Week 21 = 19-25 May 2014

Voted for Piratenpartei  – and they made it to Brussels! Jetpack 3.0 was released.

Anime:

  • Yowamushi Pedal, episode 32

TV:

  • Seinfeld, season 8

Book:

  • Thomas Engström: Väster om friheten best read in a long time, strongly recommended! (Currently being translated I think.)

CSS3. Got a bit hooked, so I finished this wonderful handbook:

  • Part Three: CSS Page Layout (p. 403-515) =
  • Chapter 12: Introducing CSS Layout
  • Chapter 13: Building Float-Based Layouts
  • Chapter 14: Responsive Web Design
  • Chapter 15: Positioning Elements on a Web Page
  • Part Four: Advanced CSS (p. 517-560) =
  • Chapter 16: CSS for the Printed Page
  • Chapter 17: Improving Your CSS Habits

Various:

Road bike:

  • Monday: Tempelhof 90 km
  • Tuesday: Tempelhof 55 km
  • Wednesday: Tempelhof 60 km
  • Friday: Tempelhof 35 km pain

Kreuzberg votes: Grüne 33,9 % – CDU 7,7 %

This is how Berlin Kreuzberg voted – Grüne 33,9 %, Linke 22,0 %, SPD 18,4 % and Piraten 5,1 %. Oh, and CDU 7,7 %. Quite a Kiez, Kreuzberg!

eu-wahl_2014_berlin_kreuzberg

I voted for Piratenpartei in Germany and they got enough votes to get represented in the European Parliament. I have much faith in Julia Reda. She left the social democrats because they were pro Internet censorship.

And here are the Swedish results:

eu-wahl_schweden_2014

I think they pretty well reflect the “extremism” that I’ve seen in the Swedish debate climate in the last years, with “good” people voting for extreme parties like Feministiskt Initiativ (FI) and “bad” people voting for Sverigedemokraterna (SD). That’s what you get when all normal parties have the same views.

Ready for takeoff – biking on the runways

Today I diverted from my regular laps and made two fast runs on the landing strips on Tempelhof. After all, this might be the only airport in the world where you’re allowed to bike! It’s easy to see my two runs on the speed chart:

tempelhof_landingstrips_garmin

I had tailwind from the west, but it’s still a challenge to keep up the pace for the full stretch of 2 kilometers. I started with the south strip and was matched with 2 segments on strava. The first one was 1,6 km – I got place 8 of 186:

strava_tempelhof_landingstrip_south_1

The second segment stretched out for the full 2 km of the strip, but caught fewer bikers – I got place 3 of 29:

strava_tempelhof_landingstrip_south_2

And here’s the northern strip, place 19 of 213:

strava_tempelhof_landingstrip_north

The southern road is a segment too, but it’s narrow and very crowded on weekends. Nevertheless I avaraged 41,6 km/h on some ride in 2013, which gave me place 11 of 361:

strava_tempelhof_southroad

Almost all segments are led by “Henrik M”. He’s a Danish guy whom I once met at a demo since we have common friends.

I’m feeling ill now, maybe it’s because I swallowed a really big fly.

Competing on Strava

I recently registered on Strava, a site for bikers (and runners) where you can upload your rides, as plotted by the gps. I’ve used Garmin Connect for that before (and still do), but Strava is so much more fun.

When you upload an activity, Strava matches it with other people’s activities on the same course. Not just the full course (that would be very few if any people), but segments of the course. Just a single ride on Tempelhof (or any ride on Tempelhof) will fit you into at least 20 different segments that have been named by their original creators: “One lap counterclockwise”, “Three laps clockwise”, “Northwest curve”, etc. Each of these segments have their own top list.

When I registered, I uploaded all my activities since 2011, and was automatically matched against the database of segments. It was very fun to see how I match up against the other riders. Here are some examples.

1. Tempelhof Airport, 5,9 km: 19/234 (37,6 km/h)

strava_tempelhof

This is the most popular full lap segment: One lap counterclockwise. My record is 37,6 km/h which gives me place 19 out of the 234 persons who have biked exactly this segment.

Sometimes you aren’t matched with a certain segment (like this one) despite you know you have biked it. That is because you have diverted too much from the course, as first biked by the person who first uploaded and named it. Fortunately, on Tempelhof there are pink dots showing an exact 6 km lap around the airport, like this (photo from last year):

Tempelhof Airport Pink Dots (Rosa Punkte)

So that’s probably the reason why there are many runners who insist on running exactly on the pink dots instead of keeping to the right (where the road is narrower than on the above photo) – they are probably competing on Strava (or with themselves), and since every meter means more for runners than for bikers, they don’t want to diverge at all from the course.

2. Tempelhof again, 6,0 km: 4/61 (37,0 km/h)

strava_tempelhof_2

This is almost the same course as the first one, but differing enough (6,0 instead of 5,9 km) to only catch 61 of the bikers, among which I am number 4.

3. Tempelhof 3 laps CW, 17,8 km: 4/30 (34,5 km/h)

strava_tempelhof_3_laps

This was yesterday. I almost always bike counterclockwise, but yesterday Pasculli was there and we biked three fast laps clockwise together until I gave up. So I was matched to another activity: “3 Runden rosa Punkte, Uhrzeigersinn”. Place 4 of 30.

4. Tempelhof NW-kurve, 800 m: 19/774 (47,9 km/h)

strava_tempelhof_nordwestkurve

An 800 meter segment, where you can easily gain some speed if you have tailwind. 774 persons have passed this segment (it’s hard not to). My placement: 19. But now that I know that the segment exists I will try to get a faster time. I’ve often passed 50 km/h somewhere close to this stretch (yesterday with Pasculli for example), but not exactly where this segment is drawn.

5. Velothon segment, 1,1 km: 11/725 (41,9 km/h)

strava_velothon_2013_oberbaum

The Velothon course is full of Strava segments, and the persons who have biked them might have done so any of the years – or any regular day for that matter. Skalitzer Straße is my hood, so I got place 11 of 725 on that very stretch in Velothon 2013. (I ended up on place 298 of 4835 that year – counting men only.)

6. Velothon goal sprint, 600 m: 20/627 (44,5 km/h)

strava_velothon_2013_end

On the graph at the top you can see from where in the ride the segment is taken. This is at the end of Velothon 2013 (but also including racers from the other years) and I apparently had enough energy to reach place 20 of 627.

You can also search for segments on a map and quickly see how you match up against the leader (my personal record and the time difference to the leader are displayed):

strava_map_view

Week 20, 2014

Week 20 = 12-18 May 2014

Skipped the Berlin Velothon. Malik Bendjelloul died.

Japanese:

  • Read 自転車男子に恋をした③
  • Played トモダチコレクション (3DS)
  • Sorted some doujinshi

Anime:

  • Hunter x Hunter, episode 129
  • Yowamushi Pedal, episode 31

CSS3 – it’s so fun I did three chapters this week = finished Part Two – Applied CSS:

  • Chapter 9: Sprucing Up Your Site’s Navigation (p. 293-333)
  • Chapter 10: CSS Transforms, Transitions, and Animations (p. 335-374)
  • Chapter 11: Formatting Tables and Forms (p. 375-401)
  • On that subject: Why Do So Many Geeks Hate Internet Explorer?

Various:

Road bike:

  • Wednesday: Tempelhof x 10 (64 km) – it’s got really cold and rainy recently, but this was a fun ride with many riders out.
  • Thursday: Tempelhof x 8 and Brandenburger Tor (60 km) – extremely windy but warmer than yesterday and some fun drafting and talking (!) with other cyclists.
  • Sunday: Berlin Velothon (60 km).